Summary and book reviews of Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever by Judge Judy Sheindlin

Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever

The Making of a Happy Woman

By Judge Judy Sheindlin

Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever
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  • Hardcover: Mar 1999,
    190 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2000,
    208 pages.

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Book Summary

"My father was a kidder, and he could usually make me laugh; in laughing I was able to feel better about myself. He also gave me a piece of advice about beauty that has stayed with me. 'Beauty fades' he used to say, 'but dumb? Dumb is forever.' "

Judge Judy's father impressed upon her that a bright intellect, a curious mind, and a passion for learning are priceless commodities. "For as long as I can remember," she writes, "the worst insult someone could give me was to say 'You're stupid.' In fact to this day, it's second nature for me when I'm on the bench to point a finger to the side of my head and ask, 'Does it say stupid here?' "--the implied answer being a resounding no.

In the course of her career as a family court judge and a presiding judge on the popular courtroom show that bears her name, Judge Judy has seen over and over again, the devastating fallout for women who have made stupid choices on marriage, parenting and their future. She has seen women make excuses for those who abuse them and women who tolerate demeaning and demoralizing conditions at work. She has seen women who, instead of choosing mates, allowed themselves to be chosen. She has seen women who elected to defer to men instead of their own judgment.

Here, the savvy, opinionated, and irrepressible Judge Judy exposes, with her trademark wit and wisdom, these dirty little secrets so many women share and offers her own take on the destructive repercussions they have on women. Using real cases involving women of every background--from the most affluent and successful to young girls just starting out--as well as stories from her own life, Judge Judy shows women how to fix their attitude and, equally important, how to teach their daughters to follow their dreams by keeping their individuality intact.

As a judge, wife, mother, and grandmother, judge Judy understands the lasting currency of self-esteem and independence, and when she voices her tough-minded opinions daily in her courtroom, everyone listens. In Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever, she instills in women--with the help of provocative and hilarious examples from her own life--the urgency of building a solid foundation within. On building character. On nourishing yourself. On learning from mistakes and fighting battles you can't win. On understanding what sex can and cannot do for you. On the importance of humor and self reliance. Her straight talk tells women to get on with it and never forget that smart is forever, too.

Don't Crawl When You Can Fly

When I was ten years old, my family moved from an apartment into a private house, which was a pretty big deal in those days. The house was about a twenty-minute bus ride from the old neighborhood in which I had grown up, and where all my friends were still living. I'd left behind not only friends, but most of my extended family--my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and my cousin Shirley, with whom I'd always been close.

Shirley and I were the same age, but you'd never have known it. She had developed early, and was sprouting breasts. I was as flat as a pancake. One Saturday, Shirley invited me back to the old neighborhood for a visit. I took the bus, and she met me at the bus stop. We walked to the high school playing field to meet some of Shirley's friends. On the way, she explained to me that if you wanted to be popular, if you wanted to have a boyfriend, you had to let a boy touch your breasts.


I had never done anything like...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
People

[Sheindlin is] part Harry Truman, part Rhea Perlman: funny, quick-tempered, bluntly honest.

Library Journal

Those who have tuned into Judge Judy's TV broadcasts, even momentarily, will recognize her no-nonsense approach here. Her straightforward personality shines through her writing, making it a joy to read.

Publishers Weekly

Known to millions because of her TV program, Judge Judy, Sheindlin writes with the same theatrical no-nonsense directness that animates her on-air persona. Her theme is stated best in the title, which is just the first of many declarative chestnuts. Aimed at women trying to make it in male-dominated workplaces and traditional marriages, the book is broken into chapters that expound on basic principles illustrated with one or two examples from Sheindlin's long career.(Revlon, Manhattan Family Court, network television). There's a slew of surprisingly personal recollections about her own marriages, husbands and divorces. The forthright self-revelations reveal an unusual person with, apparently, no conception of being eccentric.

Reader Reviews
Judy Flores

I've loan my book to a few women friends and family members. All commented they really enjoyed the book. My 13 year old daughter read it front to back and understood clearly that " Beauty fades and Dumb is forever!"

Anonymous
Kate and Ren Smith
My husband and I loved this book. The advice was so good that it is required reading for our 14 year old daughter. She's smart and beautiful and we want to make sure she stays smart.

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